Police action

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The US Army CID military police break open a door with a ram

The police act is usually the sovereign activity of police members , who are mostly police officers .


The sovereign action (an intervention due to the state's monopoly of force ) is shaped by the rule of law . Legally, it is standardized by police and regulatory law , secondarily also by criminal procedure law including certain agreements within the law enforcement authorities , e.g. B. MiStra .

Police officers are predominantly involved in carrying out the tasks. The tasks assigned according to the state police laws and criminal procedure law are extremely diverse and are supplemented , for example, by special security law and administrative law.

In principle, they include measures to avert danger (the original task of the police) and criminal prosecution . If a measure is aimed at both hazard prevention and law enforcement, one speaks of a double-functional measure . Repression (criminal prosecution) clearly has great practical weighting in police action , since it actually makes up a large area of ​​police action. Police activities also include activities in administrative law ( administrative assistance , enforcement assistance ) and the enforcement of local law .

While the activities of hazard prevention are based on the respective state police law , the activities of criminal prosecution are based on federal law (namely the Code of Criminal Procedure ). While the primacy of dutiful discretion applies to measures to avert danger, the legality principle forms the basis for the intervention threshold in criminal prosecution . Further guidelines result from administrative regulations, decrees, circulars, instructions and the police service regulations . If the right to intervene is applied when acting , one also speaks of police intervention .

The action can be initiated on communications from citizens or by the officers themselves on patrol duty. One speaks of a police operation when the police act in public - tactically one speaks of a situation management . Command and control equipment such as emergency vehicles and police radio are mostly used.

Practically every action with external impact must be documented and reported in writing , which makes up a large part of the police work. If there are criminal offenses , the principle of legality applies . Criminal charges must be made here. If grounds for detention exist, the suspect must either security or pay in custody be taken.

Examples are:

A special feature is the enforcement of measures by means of direct coercion (force), provided that it is lawful and proportionate . Like any administrative act, the police act can be checked by filing a complaint in the administrative courts . According to Section 80, Paragraph 2, Clause 1, No. 2 VwGO, police action cannot be postponed (no legal remedies can be lodged against a measure before the measure is completed).


A large part of the police action is based on a police operation (in the field ), which are divided into different types of police operations .

The actions of the police are described in terms of operational behavior ; There are special maxims for certain actions, e.g. B. the technique of arrest during arrests or the use of weapons . In criminal prosecution, some knowledge of criminology is also necessary in order to solve a crime or to identify a perpetrator. At crime scenes is the first attack carried out, this is a kind treatment as part of a criminal investigation . When dealing with people, a lot of human knowledge and communication skills are necessary. The principles of police intervention include a. proportionality, the principle of certainty and lawful conduct .

The border control is a police action at international borders. During interrogations , interrogation tactics are used (the tactics of good cop, bad cop is not permitted in Germany).

There are other activities that are not associated with operations, such as crime prevention , public relations and traffic education .

A greatly simplified example of the police action in the context of a police operation with regard to a recently committed physical injury : Request from the emergency services, immediate search for the accused and witnesses (search for persons ), arrest of the perpetrator, questioning of the accused and witnesses, obtaining a criminal complaint and the release of medical confidentiality , Production of photos, internal documentation (e.g. diary ), production of a criminal complaint , criminal investigation and disposal to the public prosecutor .

Police action in action includes the following aspects: legal situation, tactical approach and psychological situation. Police action in law includes the following aspects: ordering a measure, carrying out a measure, imminent danger, status of the official, the principles below, etc. etc.

For many measures that are taken on the basis of the StPO, it is also important whether the


The principles of police action include:

  • the existence of the necessity ( due discretion , not postponement)
  • the least impairment (mildest means)
  • the proportionality (no great disadvantage to the person concerned in relation to the cause and the purpose of the operation, a conflict of the official who are partially weighed in seconds must)
  • the certainty (addressee must be able to recognize that he is meant and what the police intend)
  • the preservation of the possible (not asking for the impossible)
  • the observance of what is permissible (compliance with orders and instructions must not require illegal acts or offend against morality )
  • timely termination

Administrative action

Another - conceptually broader - police activity is administrative activities of the police, e.g. B. reporting or keeping statistics. The basis for administrative action here is usually more the administrative law than the right to intervene .

Administrative action differs from police action in that it has fewer rights to intervene and is less explosive (urgency, quick action) and the fact that it cannot be postponed during enforcement.

In certain areas the police are also an administrative authority, e.g. B. Vehicle custody, personnel administration.

See also